New Year Aikido at Hama Rikyu Gardens

You mightn’t associate Aikido with the New Year. But I do as do many other people in Tokyo. A group of aikidokas give their annual display at Hama Rikyu Gardens on January 2 and 3. It’s a part of the holiday celebrations.

What was my photo gear for this shoot?

  • Camera body: Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lens: Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art. It has many different styles. You can find it in about 140 countries. Morihei Ueshiba created it by blending his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. He wanted a fighting style that would limit injury to both practitioner and attacker.

How was the Aikido at Hama Rikyu Gardens photo experience?

This display takes place at Hama Rikyu Gardens every year, on January 2 and 3 (except during the pandemic). It is the prelude to the falcon display. How big is the crowd? I’m not sure, but it seems there are at least 1000 people.

The host of the event took us through the history of Aikido and its development. Once he finished that, it was on to the display of the martial arts. All the practitioners were sent down to the mat.

A few of them also seemed to be put in painful holds! I think I would have lasted about two seconds. The locks looked very effective. 

There were also displays of sword fighting. They were real ones of course but made of wood. It was interesting to watch.

By the way, the Fujifilm 100-400 mm lens I used for these photos performed well. As the aikidokas were about fifty meters away, they appeared large in my viewfinder. It was a good investment.

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art. It has many different styles. You can find it in about 140 countries. It was created by Morihei Ueshiba. It was the blending of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. He wanted a fighting style that would limit injury to both practitioner and attacker.

Wrapping up

It might be better if I leave this article here. Aikido and martial arts aren’t my strong points. I hope the photos do the talking. Please leave questions and comments below.

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